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WASHINGTON — A key House panel on Wednesday advanced several health care bills on Wednesday, including its first step toward a controversial effort to equalize Medicare payments between hospitals and physician offices.

The Energy and Commerce health subcommittee passed a provision that would ensure Medicare pays the same amount to doctors who administer drugs whether they’re given in a hospital or a physician’s practice.


It’s a setback for the hospital industry, which has been aggressively fighting that and other efforts to equalize Medicare payments, a set of policy changes known as “site-neutral” rates. Site-neutral policies in Medicare could take more than $150 billion out of the industry over the next decade.

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